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Newsletter #8
Wednesday, May 31, 2017
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PEG is a non-partisan volunteer organization whose mission is to assure that our government will treat all Americans with equality and acceptance.

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Actions You Can Take Now and
Events You Should Know About

Saturday, June 3, Attend a rally and march for Gun Violence Awareness. State Representative Donna Lasinski, U.S. Representative Debbie Dingell, Washtenaw County Prosecutor Brian Mackie, and others will be speaking. Beginning in the Community High School parking lot, across from the Ann Arbor Farmer's Market, 315 Detroit St, Ann Arbor, 10–11:15 a.m. Click here to read more about the sponsoring organization, Moms Demand Action For Gun Sense In America.

Saturday, June 3, March for Truth. A large coalition of progressive organizations is calling for a #MarchForTruth, to raise our voices and let our elected leaders know that Americans want answers. The legitimacy of our democracy is more important than the interests of any party, or any president. Let’s rise together to call for a fair and impartial investigation into the Trump administration’s ties to Russia and demand the pursuit of truth.
Marches are being held in more than 50 cities across the country so far, including Detroit. No march has yet been organized for Ann Arbor. Sign up to host one here.
Saturday, June 3. Washtenaw Interfaith Coalition of Immigrant Rights fundraiser. A night of music, drinks, food and fun. 344 Eighth St., Ann Arbor, 48103. 5–9 pm. Tickets and more info here.

Saturday, June 3. My Body, My Bills: Decoding Legislation and Lobbying Your Reps. Join volunteers of the Planned Parenthood of Ann Arbor Legislative Action Committee for a day of education, activities, and action! We will also be joined by special guest speaker State Representative Kristy Pagan (D-Canton). Come learn about legislation in Michigan posing risks to women’s health and how you can fight back and make your voice heard! Eastern Michigan University Student Center, 900 Oakwood St., Ypsilanti, 10:30 am. More information here.


Tuesday, June 5, State Representative Donna Lasinski 52nd House District. Coffee hour to discuss what’s happening in Lansing and in Washtenaw County. Saline District Library, 555 N. Maple Road, Saline, 6–7 p.m.
 
Wednesday, June 7. Oppose Anti-sanctuary Bills HB 4105 and 4334. Join us in Lansing for a rally and then attend the public hearing. Also you can submit written testimony and call the committee members to ask that they vote AGAINST these bills. Hosted by WICIR Washtenaw Interfaith Coalition for Immigrant Rights. Anderson House Office Building, 124 N. Capitol Ave., Lansing, 48933. Meet in front 11 am. Public hearing at noon. Click here for more info.
Friday, June 9 through Saturday, June 10, THE ARENA SUMMIT
“Think of the Arena Summit as equal parts spring training, group therapy, summer camp and speed dating for progressives…The goal: to train a field team of inexperienced candidates, face hard truths about the past, forge lasting bonds between local communities and help disparate organizations find their perfect match.” – WIRED Magazine
Cobo Center, 1 Washington Blvd, Detroit, 48226. Friday, June 9, 3:30 pm to Saturday, June 10, 7 pm. https://thearena.run/detroit 

Sunday, June 25 - PEG Speaker Series. Washtenaw County Sheriff Clayton will speak on "Immigration-related Enforcement Issues in Washtenaw County." Sheriff Clayton is nationally recognized for contributions in this area and has done briefings in Washington D.C. Morris Hall in the Pittsfield Township Administrative Building, 6201 West Michigan Ave., Ann Arbor, 3 pm.

Things To Do at Any Time

The Gender Equity and Health/Planned Parenthood PEG Action Circle invites everyone to join their efforts at the June 25 PEG meeting.
     Carol Dickerman and Vicki Patraka are the group's facilitators and Barbara Hooberman is liaison to Planned Parenthood. At the May 21 PEG meeting, the group worked on ways to broaden its theme and appeal without losing its initial focus.
  The Action Circle went on to create two goals for future work:

  • Keep Planned Parenthood from being defunded
  • Retain affordable comprehensive health care at the state level.

    Anyone interested in joining the Action Circle is invited to email the facilitators about their interest in advance of the June 25 meeting. Vicki Patraka, vpatrak@bgsu.edu and Carol Dickerman     cwdickerman@gmail.com
Check out an incredibly effective means of voter contact. Everyone reads their texts, while many don’t answer the phone, especially from unknown numbers. A platform called Hustle (which is how Bernie’s campaign reached voters) is a super easy technology and has something like a 98% read rate. Both campaigns and outside orgs use it. One interesting thing is that federal law prohibits mass texting so this is a way that campaigns/orgs can properly and legally send texts to voters. FYI, the texts go through an app so the sender’s own phone number is not shown. Check it out here.
📱 Resistbot — an easy way to send a fax and letter to your Congressperson and Senator. Using the Message app, send a text to 504-09, with the word “resist.” Resistbot will send you a text back with step-by-step instructions, starting with asking for your zipcode. It will then “talk” back and forth with you, asking for you to type in your message until its done.
The Trump administration has removed or tucked away a wide variety of information that until recently was provided to the public. This is limiting access, for instance, to disclosures about workplace violations, energy efficiency and animal-welfare abuses. More here.

New data shows a sharp increase in U.S. protest activity in April. Read the good news.
✍ Oppose H.R. 4416 - H.R. 4419: This bill in the state legislature would allow anyone to carry a concealed gun without a permit or any kind of training on how to use them responsibly. The Mi Resistance is holding calling parties to oppose this bill. For more info, click on this link calling party.
✍ Voice your objection to the all-male Senate healthcare groupWrite: Sen. Mitch McConnell, 317 Russell Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510
Script: “Not everyone is at the table to discuss health care, Sen. McConnell. 51% of the US population is female. 37% is not white. 19% has a disability. More than 3% is LGBT. By these statistics, your committee should have six women, four minorities, two disabled people, and one gay person. A group of white, straight men could harm those excluded from the conversation. Please make it right.”
Defend the ACA in the Senate: One of our top priorities this week is to tell your Senators to oppose TrumpCare. The CBO score is coming on Wednesday, which may kick it back to another vote in the House. Keep reminding everyone of the cost of supporting TrumpCare. You can find everything you need here. And register your die-ins and adopt-a-district events you’re holding over recess here.
Support candidates who run against MoCs who support repealing ACA. Visit: ActBlue.com has a creative way to support MoCs who favor healthcare.

Giving Michigan voters what they want. Instead of buying in mindlessly to either Republican (cut) or Democratic (spend) doctrine, politicians running for state office in 2018 must think about what ordinary residents want. Creating a citizens’ agenda for Michigan. READ FULL STORY
📱 Oppose the new, federal Advisory Commission on Election Integrity. Read: This recent article and background on Kris Kobach’s past efforts to suppress voters in Kansas. Call: Your three MoCs (lookup).
Script: “Hi. I’m a constituent from _ZIP_ and am calling to express my concern about Trump’s new election integrity commission. Considering the lack of support for claims of widespread voter fraud, this panel is a huge waste of taxpayer money. What is _NAME_ doing to oppose this panel?”
Support Resistance Summer. In a few weeks, the first-ever nationwide organizing training program will be held in Detroit. Organizers from all 57 states and territories will come together and be and equipped with the tools and resources they will need to elect their candidates up and down the ticket.
  The organizers hope to continue the energy of January 21 when hundreds of thousands marched on Washington at the Women's March and millions more stood up across the country and around the world and said that we would not be silenced. The mission is to translate that energy and activism into votes, so we can elect candidates who share our populist values. Follow this link for more information.
✍ Oppose House-sponsored Bill 4205 that would prohibit state agencies from adopting or creating rules that are more strict than parallel federal standards. The Michigan League of Conservation Voters government released the following statement which explains its consequences for the environment: “Time and again Michigan has needed to go above and beyond to protect our Great Lakes and natural resources, which are central to our economy and way of life. We should not hamstring our state government from putting in place common sense safeguards for the health of our communities.”
  This bill still needs to pass the Senate. It is urgent for you to contact your senator (likely Rebekah Warren) to ask her to strongly oppose this bill which will have negative consequences for all aspects of our lives in Michigan. For more info, follow this link: Michigan Legislative Website.

✍ Oppose H.R. 4416 - H.R. 4419 in the state legislature would allow anyone to carry a concealed gun without a permit or any kind of training on how to use them responsibly.
The Michigan Resistance is holding calling parties to oppose this bill. To sign-up and find more info on the calling party, click on this link.
Interesting things to read and watch
A Politico investigation found 28 House members and six senators who have traded over 100 stocks in the past two years; in some cases, lawmakers traded stocks related to legislation they had influence over. [Politico]
A recent speech by Rev. William Barber from Raleigh, NC, the leader of the Moral Monday movement. https://vimeo.com/217114196
How Our Tax Code Makes Inequality Worse by Thomas M. Shapiro. The tax code has been engineered to promote inequality by providing mortgage interest deductions and other subsidies to people who don't need them. http://billmoyers.com/story/housing-subsidies-fuel-inequality/
Trump’s Travel Bans—Look Beyond the Text by David Cole. Is it appropriate for the judiciary to look beyond the text of an executive order in assessing its legality? If the challenge to Trump’s second executive order reaches the Supreme Court, much will depend on whether the Court considers the overwhelming evidence of impermissible religious purpose or accepts the government’s stated justifications without further testing. [The New York Review of Books]
Stay of execution for office coordinating Great Lakes cleanup projects. To avert a government showdown late last week, Congress passed a stopgap spending plan to keep federal agencies funded through the end of September, including $50 million for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, a $300 million program administered by the EPA. Trump budget blueprint remains a threat to all EPA programs. [Bridge Magazine]
West Virginia journalist arrested after asking HHS Secretary Tom Price a question. “This is my job, this is what I’m supposed to do,” the reporter with 30 years experience said in a news conference after being released on bail. [Washington Post]
I was Trumped,’ Robert Richardson tweeted, but the loss of scientific counsel to a federal agency is no joke, he writes. Dismissed from an EPA board, an MSU economist fears for agency’s, and planet’s, future. [Bridge Magazine]
Washtenaw County votes for resolution opposing cuts to local EPA lab. Local officials worry the cuts could shutter the National Vehicle and Fuel Emissions Laboratory at 2565 Plymouth Road. [MLive]
Trumpcare Is Already Hurting Trump Country. The mere threat that Obamacare will be dismantled or radically changed — either by Congress or by President Trump himself — has persuaded several big insurance companies to stop selling policies or significantly raise premiums. The practical effect is that some lower-income and middle-class families may have no good options for insurance and will have to spend more on health care. [New York Times]
How Trump’s budget helps the rich at the expense of the poor. Tax overhaul would reduce or eliminate trillions of dollars in taxes that are paid primarily by the wealthy, and lessen spending on Medicaid. [Washington Post]
A new report reveals that Michigan is one of three states with the "most extreme levels of partisan bias" in redistricting. According to the study by the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University, states with high levels of partisan bias are all states where one political party had sole control of the redistricting process. Click here to read the Brennan Center’s report.


Protectors of Equality in Government (PEG) has endorsed 11 organizations. A short description of and a link to each organization can be found on the PEG website: http://www.equalityingov.org/endorsed-organizations/

Please check out the list and choose those of interest to you for action.

Let us Hear From You

To contact us via email, click here info@equalityingov.org. To follow us on facebook, click here. To be on PEG’s contact list, click here. Please forward this newsletter to others you think might be interested in being part of the effort to maintain equality and acceptance in our government.

We are constantly seeking ways to improve this newsletter and make it more useful for you, so we welcome letters to the editorial team and will print them as space permits. We reserve the right to edit for space, clarity, civility and accuracy, and we will send you the edited version before publication. For suggestions regarding length, content, and similar criteria, please refer to the New York Times’ general recommendations for letters: http://www.nytimes.com/2004/05/23/opinion/23READ.html?_r=0
 

Willing to Help in the Fight?

 

We need your help building PEG. Click here to see see a list of volunteer opportunities. If you might be willing to be a PEG volunteer or to learn more, email info@equalityingov.org and put “VOLUNTEER” in the email subject line.
 

For more information regarding Protectors of Equality in Government, go to www.equalityingov.org


To contact us via email, click here info@equalityingov.org. To follow us on facebook, click here. To be on PEG’s contact list, click here. Please forward this newsletter to others you think might be interested in being part of the effort to maintain equality and acceptance in our government.

Thanks to Richard Gaeth, Vicki Patraka, Jen Hoffman, Susan Burwen, Bernie Banet, Laura Nathan, Bette Cotzin, Virginia Morgan, Ellen Halter, Chuck Newman, and Susan Ayer for their help preparing this newsletter. Write us at info@equalityingov.org if you would like to learn how you can help create our weekly newsletter. It’s fun and no ongoing commitment is required.

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